Self-deStaining Textiles: Designing Interactive Systems with Fabric, Stains, and Light


Alice Hong

Alice Hong

Fiona Bell*, Alice Hong*, Andreea Danielescu, Aditi Maheshwari, Ben Greenspan, Hiroshi Ishii, Laura Devendorf, and Mirela Alistar. 2021. SelfdeStaining Textiles: Designing Interactive Systems with Fabric, Stains and Light. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’21), May 8–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12 pages.


This work introduces “destaining” as an interactive component for the HCI community. While staining happens unintentionally (e.g., spilling coffee), destaining can be used as an intentional design tool that selectively degrades stains on textiles. We explore the design space using silver-doped titanium dioxide (TiO2/Ag), stains, and light as a set of design primitives for interactive systems. We then developed replicable and accessible fabrication and testing methods that enable HCI researchers and designers to upgrade various fabrics to self-destaining textiles. Next, we demonstrate a Self-deStaining textile interface with embedded Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and moisture sensors that activate cleaning. Lastly, we showcase how the textile can be used in everyday objects such as self-cleaning clothes, a patterning station for phone cases, and accessories that change patterns and colors based on the user’s experiences.

This work is a collaboration with Accenture Labs and the ATLAS Institute, the University of Colorado Boulder.

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